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kauai | Top scenic spots

On Kauai's northwest shore lies the Na Pali, 'the cliffs,' Coast, 17 miles of shoreline accessible by boat and foot, there's a 2-mile trail from Ke'e to Hanakapiai Beach followed by 2 additional miles to Hanakpipi Falls. If you're feeling adventurous, there's an 11-mile hike with campsite at Kalalau Beach. Tucked in behind the Na Pali Coast is Waimea Canyon, Kauai's version of the Grand Canyon. Situated in the Waimea Canyon State Park, south of the Koke'e State Park, Waimea runs 10 miles through, a mile across and is 3500 feet deep. Trails throughout the park provide direct access, Koke'e State Park also provides designated viewpoints of Waimea.

Further east of Na Pali is the Coconut Coast, an area filled with beaches ideal for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Known for its abundance of coconut trees situated amongst the resorts, the Coconut Coast runs below Nounou Mountain, 'the sleeping giant;' and in between the coastline and the mountain is the Wailua Valley. Today, Wailua is a major residential community, in ancient times Wailua was home to royalty. Preserved cultural sites including sacred places of worship and refuge, Heiau provides a glimpse of Hawaii's deeply rooted culture and Kauai's local history.

South west of Wailua is Hanamaulu, an ideal area for camping. County owned parks typically have grills, pavilions, picnic tables, toilets, cold showers and drinking water for a reasonable price. Hanamaulu is famous for mountain tubing; calm waters running through tunnels and canals of a plantation irrigation system make this relaxing activity possible. Further south is Poipu Beach, a popular and versatile place for diving, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, boarding and surfing.